There is a lot that can go into buying the right bike for you. You probably already have a budget in mind of what you are willing and able to spend on a bike, but how do you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck? Here are the things you should look for when shopping for a bike for yourself.
How You Know You Are Buying the Right Bike for You
1. You will need to determine how you are going to use your bike. Will you be a regular cycler? Mountain biker? Sunday morning family biking? There are basically four different kinds of bikes that are used for all different terrain.
Road bikes are designed as you would imagine for the road. They are meant for paved streets and they are made for speed. They have skinny tires with a light frame. You will be bent over the handlebars, making you more aerodynamic. This isn’t a very sturdy frame. It’s meant for speed, not rough and tumble and bumpy terrain.
Mountain bikes conversely are made for a bumpy terrain. These bikes have wide tires with a knobby tread. The frame is not nearly as lightweight and it’s more stout than road bikes. They are a more durable frame and you will find them to have a more comfortable riding position. You sit more upright which is great for those with back problems.
Hybrid bikes offer the best of both worlds of road bikes and mountain bikes. They are good for short and not as fast road trips on the pavement with a skinny tire that is smooth. You sit upright on this bike, too. It’s perhaps a good bike for your leisurely Sunday morning trip down to the corner store with the family. They have it all – speed, durability, and comfort.
Cruisers make great beach bikes. They have a wide tire, wide seat, upright handlebars, and even often times just a single gear. This is a durable bike, but it’s not meant for speed or rough terrain by any means. They are about a flat surface and comfort for the rider.
2. Now perhaps these traditional bikes aren’t what you’re looking for. Maybe you like to think outside of the box. A tandem bike, tricycle, or recumbent might fit that bill. They are not bikes you will see very often, but you might want to look into these bikes if the kind of typical cycling described above is not what you hope to do.
3. If you are going to be carrying precious cargo (i.e. a baby/child) or need a basket for groceries perhaps, you will want to make sure the bike is suitable for adding a child seat or trailer to it or putting a basket on the front. Check with the bike salesperson about these features.
4. If you are having a hard time deciding what will work best for you, then see if you can borrow a bike. Perhaps a friend has a bike you can try out or rent one from a bike rental to see how you like it. Trying before you buy is always smart.
5. Remember you get what you pay for. You might have a budget for what you can spend, but don’t go for the cheap. You will likely end up paying more, in the end, replacing the bike every year or so.
6. Make sure you get the right fit. You will actually need to sit on the bike. Since people come in different sizes, bikes have to as well. You will need to be able to easily mount and dismount from the bike.
7. Have it professionally assembled. This way you are sure it’s put together correctly and there are no loose nuts or bolts.
Once you have found the right bike, don’t forget the protective gear. While there might not be laws that adults are required to wear bike helmets, you still want to be protected when riding a bike. This is what I AM RVA is all about. So be sure to pick up our signature chrome helmet right here before you ride off into the sunset with your new bike.